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2014 CAST & CREW

Flutist STEPHANIE JUTT’s erformances of new music, transcriptions, and traditional repertoire have made her a model for adventurous flutists everywhere. Her transcriptions of Brahms sonatas were published by International Music Publishing, and an all-Brahms recording with pianist Jeffrey Sykes, Stolen Moments, was released in January 2005 on Centaur. Trained at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she received undergraduate and graduate degrees, Ms. Jutt won the Concert Artist Guild and Pro Musicis International Soloist awards and received solo recitalist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Rockefeller Foundation. Ms. Jutt has performed in recital throughout the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia. She has served as a board member and program chair for the National Flute Association. Ms. Jutt is principal flute of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. She was recently presented with the Margaret Rupp Cooper Award in honor of her years of service, commitment to the orchestra, and musicianship. Ms. Jutt is on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison A recipient of a substantial grant by the Kauffmann Foundation for Entrepreneurship, she is the founder of UW-Madison Arts Enterprise, a multi-faceted initiative that enables student artists to survive and thrive in today's creative economy. (Website)
Pianist JEFFREY SYKES has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Western Europe. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with oboist Gerard Reuter and flutist Stephanie Jutt under the auspices of the Pro Musicis Foundation. Dr. Sykes holds degrees with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Franz Schubert Institut in Baden-bei-Wien, Austria, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received his doctorate. He has garnered numerous awards, including the Jacob Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education and a Fulbright grant to study at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. Dr. Sykes serves on the music faculty of the University of California-Berkeley and California State University East Bay. He is a member of the San Francisco Piano Trio and resides in San Francisco. (Website)
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, pianist ELENA ABEND is a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed with all the major orchestras of her country and has recorded with the Filarmonica Nacional. As the recipient of a scholarship from the Venezuelan Council for the Artist, Ms. Abend studied at the Juilliard School, where she received her Bachelor and Master degrees. She has performed at the Purcell Room on London's South Bank, Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center, Weill Recital hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Academy of Music with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Other engagements have included the Wigmore Hall in London, the United Nations, the Toulouse Conservatoire in France, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., Merkin Concert Hall in New York, and many other celebrated venues. Ms. Abend has been on the faculty of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University's String Academy summer program, and the Milwaukee Chamber Music Festival. She has performed with Present Music Now and the Frankly Music Series on several occasions and is currently professor of piano and chamber music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Violinist SUZANNE BEIA, a native of Reno, Nevada, began her musical studies on viola at the age of ten. Three years later she shifted her attention to the violin and made her solo debut at age fourteen with the North Lake Tahoe Symphony. She has appeared frequently as soloist with orchestras throughout the U.S. Before coming to Madison to join the Pro Arte Quartet as second violin, she held the position of principal second violin in the Wichita Symphony and has held concertmaster positions in the Reno Philharmonic, the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Bay Area Women's Philharmonic, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. Her chamber music experience has been extensive; she performed for seven years in the Verano Trio and more recently for two years with the Wichita-based Sedgwick String Quartet. She has been invited to perform in such festivals as Chamber Music West, the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, and the Festival de Prades, and has served on the faculties of the Rocky Ridge Music Center and Florida International University. In addition to her duties with the Pro Arte Quartet, Ms. Beia performs with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and is concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. This is her fifteenth season with BDDS. (Website)
Violinist KATARZYNA BRYLA made a debut as a soloist with Zielona Gora Philharmonic at the age of 14 and in Royal Albert Hall with Poznan Chamber Orchestra, and recently performed at the J.F.Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She has won a number of international competitions, including 1st prize at the National Children's Art Competition in Warsaw, 2nd prize at the National J.S.Bach competition, where she was awarded a special prize for the best performance of Bach, and 3rd prize at the Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition, after which she was invited by Maestro Penderecki to perform as a soloist with Sinfonietta Cracovia in the International Maazel/Vilar Conducting Competition. She has performed frequently as a guest artist in top music festivals including Aspen Music Festival, New York String Seminar, Sun Music Festival in Singapore, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Las Palmas Festival, Sun Music Festival in Singapore, Music Festival in St.Maarten and Chopin Festival in Geneva. As an orchestral musician, she regularly performs with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and has collaborated with Gil Shaham, Itzhak Perlman, Hilary Hahn, Vadim Repin, Richard Goode, Yefim Bronfman, Vladimir Feltsman, and Kiri Te Kanawa. In 2011 she graduated from Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, earning Artist Diploma degree under Professor Herbert Greenberg on a full scholarship, and her teachers include Bartosz Bryla and Jadwiga Kaliszewska.
Executive Director SAMANTHA CROWNOVER balances her Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society duties with various art and historic preservation consulting projects. Together with Stephanie Jutt, she launched the Arts Enterprise Initiative on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. She served on the boards of the Friends of the UW-Madison Geology Museum, the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, and the First Settlement Neighborhood, a part of the Capitol Neighborhoods Association. Ms. Crownover received a B.A. and M.A. in art history from UW-Madison and was curator at Tandem Press, a fine-art print-making studio which is part of UW-Madison's art department. She has been on the staff of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy. This is her seventeenth season with BDDS.
Cellist JEAN-MICHEL FONTENEAU is a founding member of the Ravel String Quartet, winner of two prizes at the Evian String Quartet Competition, and of the first French Grammy Award "Les Victoires de la Musique Classique". The quartet toured extensively around the world and created the first string quartet residency program in France. Mr. Fonteneau performs frequently with such artists as Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Kim Kashkashian, members of the Amadeus, Juilliard, Pro Arte, and Fine Arts Quartets. Mr. Fonteneau served on the faculty of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, France, until 1999, when he moved to the United States to join the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His students have won national and international competitions and appeared on "From the Top"; one has been honored as a Presidential Scholar. He appears regularly at summer festivals, including the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Domaine Forget, and Oberlin at Casalmaggiore. He is a member of the San Francisco Piano Trio. Mr. Fonteneau's recordings can be found with Musidisc-France and Albany Records. This is his sixth season with BDDS. (Website)
Violist DAVID HARDING has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Central America in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie and Concertgebouw. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, NPR, and Deutschland Radio, Berlin, and he is frequently featured on CBC Radio in Canada. Mr. Harding regularly performs at chamber music festivals throughout North America and is a member of the Music Toronto Chamber Society, Triskelion String Trio, and the American String Project. Mr. Harding is a seasoned quartet player, having been a former member of both the Chester String Quartet and the Toronto String Quartet. He has made numerous recordings, most recently of Bach's Goldberg Variations and Brahms's viola sonatas and horn trio. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Mr. Harding studied with Paul Dokto and Emanuel Vardi. He was the winner of the Sir John Barbirolli Award at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. Mr. Harding previously served on the faculty of Indiana University-South Bend and is currently professor of viola at the University of British Columbia. Mr. Harding plays on a viola made by Pietro Antonio dalla Costa, Treviso, Italy, circa 1750. This is his fourth season with BDDS. (Website)
Pianist RANDALL HODGKINSON, grand prize winner of the International American Music Competition sponsored by Carnegie Hall and the Rockefeller Foundation, has performed with orchestras in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Boston, Cleveland, and abroad in Italy and Iceland. In addition he has performed numerous recital programs spanning the repertoire from J.S. Bach to Donald Martino. He is an artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society and performs the four-hand and two-piano repertoire with his wife, Leslie Amper. Festival appearances include Blue Hill-Maine, Bargemusic, Chestnut Hill Concerts (Madison, Connecticut), Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest (Portland, Oregon), and Mainly Mozart in San Diego. Mr. Hodgkinson recently released a CD of solo piano music on the Ongaku label. Other recordings include a live world premiere of the Gardner Read piano concerto for Albany records. Mr. Hodgkinson is on the faculties of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and the Longy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is his seventh season with BDDS. (Website)
ALAN KAY is co-principal clarinetist and a former artistic director of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as well as principal clarinet of New York's Riverside Symphony and the Little Orchestra Society. He also appears as principal with the American Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Mr. Kay's honors include the C.D. Jackson Award at Tanglewood, a Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award, Juilliard's 1980 Competition, and the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award with the sextet Hexagon, later featured in the prize-winning documentary film "Debut." Mr. Kay is a founding member of Windscape and Hexagon, and he appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Also a conductor, Mr. Kay studied conducting at the Juilliard School with Otto-Werner Mueller and has conducted orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the New York City area. Mr. Kay taught at the Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany in 2004 and currently teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, and Stony Brook University. He has served on the juries of the International Chamber Music Festival in Trapani, Italy, Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. This is his first season with BDDS. (Website)
HEIDI KRUTZEN is principal harpist with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and the National Broadcast Orchestra. She has been guest principal harpist with the Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, and Vancouver Symphony and has recorded as a soloist with the Latvian National Symphony in Riga. Ms. Krutzen has appeared in chamber music festivals across North America. Most recently, she was a featured soloist with the Shanghai Quartet at the Oregon Bach Festival and with members of the New York Philharmonic at Strings in the Mountains, Colorado. Ms. Krutzen is on the faculty of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and teaches at the University of British Columbia School of Music. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Eastman School of Music. This is her fourth season with BDDS. (Website)
Soprano DÌSELLA LÀRUSDÓTTER, originally from Iceland, began her relationship with the Metropolitan Opera with her performance at the 2007 National Council Auditions and the subsequent documentary film The Audition. During the 2011-2012 season, she was invited to cover the roles of Miss Schlesen in Philip Glass's Satyagraha and Servilia in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. During the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Làrusdóttir made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Garsenda in Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini, and also performed the role of Woglinde in Wagner's Götterdämmerung and Das Rheingold. During the 2013-2014 season, she returned to the Metropolitan Opera for its productions of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, Dvořák's Rusalka, Rossini's La Cenerentola, Bellini's La Sonnambula, and the Baroque pastiche, The Enchanted Island. This is her first season with BDDS. (Website)
Pianist LAYTON JAMES recently retired after forty-one years as principal keyboard with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Specializing in harpsichord and organ continuo realizations, he is featured on many recordings, including Handel's Messiah, conducted by Robert Shaw. Mr. James has recently been a soloist with the Duluth-Superior Symphony and guest conductor of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, and has composed a Baroque piece for the Blue Baroque Band. He has appeared at Music in the Vineyards, Aspen Music Festival, Music at Gretna, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, AlexFest and the Brainerd Music Festival. He is also cantor and organist of Bethel Lutheran Church in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Baritone TIMOTHY JONES has appeared as a soloist with major symphony orchestras in the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, and the Jacksonville Symphony, and has performed abroad in Ecuador, Mexico,and the Czech Republic. In opera houses he has sung leading roles in The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, The Magic Flute, Cosi fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, La Boheme, Falstaff, Macbeth, and La Traviata. Mr. Jones has been a frequent guest soloist with the Victoria Bach Festival, New Texas Festival, Round Top Music Festival, Ars Lyrica Houston, Cactus Pear Music Festival, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. As a committed performer of contemporary music, Mr. Jones has commissioned and premiered compositions by leading composers of our time. He lives in Houston, where he serves on the faculty of the University of Houston.
Textile artist CAROLYN KALLENBORN works with fabric and metal to create flowing garments and sculptural pieces. She shows her award-winning, hand-painted garments and sculptures in galleries and exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Her work has been shown in Beijing, China; Cheong-ju, Korea; the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona; Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana; and other shows and galleries in St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta and Cambridge, Mass. In addition, her work has been featured in such magazines as Fiberarts, Surface Design Journal and Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot. She received her BA and MFA in Textile Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ms. Kallenborn taught textiles and design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before jointing the faculty at Kansas City Art Institute. She is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Design Studies Department. She was an assistant professor in the Fiber Department at the Kansas City Art Institute from 2001 - 2007. Ms. Kallenborn currently serves as the coordinator for "Off The Grid," the 2009 Surface Design Association international textile conference. She was conference coordinator for "Uncovering the Surface," SDA's 2005 conference and was coordinator and juror for two major exhibitions for the SDA's 2003 conference.
Cellist PARRY KARP is artist-in-residence and professor of chamber music and cello at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is director of the string chamber music program. He has been cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet for the past 37 years, the longest tenure of any member in the quartet's 100 year history. Mr. Karp is also an active solo artist and has recorded six solo CDs. As cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet he has performed in over 1,000 concerts in North, Central and South America, Europe, and Japan. His discography with the group is extensive (over two dozen recordings) and includes the complete string quartets of Ernest Bloch, Miklos Rosza, and Karol Szymanowski. In 2012 he was a recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Winner of the 2006 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist ERIN KEEFE has also been the grand prize winner in the Valsesia Musica (Italy), Torun Schadt (Poland) and Corpus Christi international violin competitions, and was the silver medalist in the Carl Nielsen (Denmark), Sendai (Japan), and Gyeongnam (Korea) competitions. In recent seasons, Ms. Keefe has appeared with the New Mexico Symphony, the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic and the Göttingen Symphony and has given recitals throughout the United States and in Austria, Italy, Germany, Korea, Poland, Japan and Denmark. She has collaborated with such artists as Richard Goode, Menahem Pressler, Leon Fleisher and the Emerson String Quartet, and she has recorded for Naxos and Deutsche Grammophon. She has made festival appearances at Ravinia, Music@Menlo, the Marlboro Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire, and has performed at the Seattle, OK Mozart, Mimir, Bravo! and Bridgehampton chamber music festivals. Ms. Keefe is an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She earned a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute.
Violist DANIEL PANNER enjoys a varied career as a performer and teacher. As violist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, he concertized throughout the United States and Israel. He has served as the principal violist of the New York City Opera and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at music festivals in Marlboro, Tanglewood, and Aspen. Mr. Panner has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has collaborated with members of the Cleveland, Emerson, Guarneri and Juilliard string quartets. An active performer of new music, he is a member of Sequitur and the Locrian Ensemble and has performed with such new-music groups as Speculum Musicae, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and Transit Circle. Mr. Panner received the 1998 Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award and served as teaching assistant to the Juilliard String Quartet for two years. After receiving a bachelor's degree in history at Yale University, Mr. Panner continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. He currently teaches at the Juilliard School, the Mannes College of Music, SUNY Stony Brook and the Queens College Conservatory of Music.
Violinist WILLIAM POLK joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2007, after serving for two years as associate principal second violin of the Minnesota Orchestra. Previously, he was guest principal second violin of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Polk has performed as an orchestral musician with the San Francisco Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony. and has participated as a chamber musician in the Mainly Mozart Summer Festival in San Diego and with the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society. In 2002 he and his wife, violist Kerri Ryan, founded and performed with the Minneapolis Quartet, which was awarded a McKnight Artist Fellowship in 2006. In 2007 he and Ms. Ryan performed as soloists in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Cellist BETH RAPIER began her professional career at age sixteen as an apprentice with the Louisville Orchestra. After studying at Indiana University and in New York with Janos Starker, Fritz Magg, and Timothy Eddy, she performed, toured, and taught. Ms. Rapier joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1986 and assumed her current position as assistant principal in 1991. She has been a featured soloist with the orchestra in works by Haydn and David Ott and has appeared with the Colorado Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, and many regional ensembles. An award winner at several chamber music competitions, she has performed in Taiwan, Japan, Europe and througout the U.S. She was a founding member of the Rosalyra String Quartet and a 2000 winner of a McKnight Foundation award. Ms. Rapier is a frequent guest at chamber music festivals, including Cactus Pear, Music in the Vineyards, and BDDS. Ms. Rapier has recorded quartets by Beethoven, Bartók, Shostakovich, and Brahms. In April 2005, Ms. Rapier was again named a McKnight Foundation award winner for her performance of cello duos with her husband, Anthony Ross. In 2006, she appeared as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in the world premiere of "Sinfonia Concertante" by Kevin Puts. This is her fifth season with BDDS. (Website)
Percussionist DANE RICHESON has performed worldwide as solo marimbist, chamber music percussionist, ethnic percussion artist, and jazz drummer. Mr. Richeson has performed with such diverse artists as Lukas Foss, Bobby McFerrin, and Gunther Schuller; and at festivals including Ravinia, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Beijing Music Festival. Mr. Richeson has performed on more than 100 recordings and regularly performs with BDDS and the chamber ensemble CUBE in Chicago. He is currently associate professor of music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he is director of percussion studies. Under his direction, the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble has been awarded state and international honors. Mr. Richeson earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University and his master's degree from Ithaca College, with additional studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Drummers Collective, New York City. He has also studied drumming in Ghana, Cuba, and Brazil.
Cellist ANTHONY ROSS has been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1988. Through the years he has soloed at subscription concerts in works of Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Lalo, Bloch, and David Ott. A graduate of Indiana University, where he studied with Fritz Magg, Mr. Ross also earned a degree at the State University of New York. Mr. Ross was awarded the bronze medal at the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. His numerous other prizes include the Stulberg Award, the G.B. Dealy Award, and the Parisot International Cello Competition. Before coming to Minnesota, Mr. Ross served as principal cellist of the Rochester Philharmonic in New York and taught at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to serving on the faculties of the Aspen Music Festival, Grand Teton Orchestral Seminar, and Madeline Island Music Camp, he has performed in many festivals throughout the U.S. and in Greece and France. Mr. Ross has recorded Rachmaninoff and Carter sonatas for Boston Records and the Bernstein "Meditations" with the Minnesota Orchestra. This is his thirteenth season with BDDS. (Website)
Violist KERRI RYAN joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as assistant principal viola in 2007. She came to Philadelphia from the Minnesota Orchestra, where she was assistant principal viola for seven seasons. Ms. Ryan and her husband, violinist William Polk, are founding members of the award-winning Minneapolis Quartet. Following her graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1998, she served as associate concertmaster of the Charleston Symphony. Ms. Ryan also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a member of its Young Artist Program.
Violinist STEPHANIE SANT'AMBROGIO is assistant professor of violin and viola at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a member of the Argenta Trio. She is the founder and artistic director of Cactus Pear Music Festival, which is celebrating its 15th season. Ms. Sant'Ambrogio is the former concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony and was previously first assistant principal second violin of the Cleveland Orchestra. In 2010, she was appointed concertmaster of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Estonia, Sweden, Italy, Ghana, Peru, Chile and Mexico. With over sixty orchestral and chamber music CDs, her discography includes the recent releases Late Dates with Mozart, Klassics4Kids, and Going Solo: Unaccompanied Works for Violin & Viola.
Tenor GREGORY SCHMIDT recently appeared with Madison Opera as Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw and Steuermann in The Flying Dutchman. Other recent engagements include Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and Almaviva (The Barber of Seville) with Opera Tampa, Nemorino (The Elixer of Love) with Tulsa Opera, Alfredo (La Traviata) with St. Petersburg Opera, and Ferrando (Così fan tutte) with El Paso Opera. Mr Schmidt has also appeared with Tacoma Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Chattanooga Opera, Nevada Opera, Skylight Opera Theater, Nashville Opera, and Opera Carolina. He made his professional debut with Washington National Opera in the role of Count Belfiore in Mozart's La finta giardiniera and returned to the Kennedy Center the following season as Tamino in The Magic Flute. He apprenticed with Santa Fe Opera and was a Metropolitan Opera Audition National Finalist.
Soprano ANNA SLATE is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she developed an interest in early music as a student of Mimmi Fulmer and sang such roles as Oberto in Handel's Alcina, the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah and Bach's Mass in B Minor, and Liesgen in Bach's Coffee Cantata with harpsichordist John Chappell Stowe. Last summer Ms. Slate attended the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute, where she performed as the Second Spirit (The Magic Flute), Blonde (The Abduction from the Seraglio), and Nannetta (Falstaff), and in November she made her professional debut as Atalanta in Berkeley West Edge Opera's Xerxes. In 2011 Ms. Slate was the featured soprano soloist in the Madison Festival Choir's February concert and performed with the UW-Madison Black Music Ensemble.
Percussionist ANTHONY DI SANZA has performed, presented master classes, and held residencies throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has appeared as a visiting artist at over 45 colleges, universities, and conservatories and has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. Active in a wide variety of Western and non-Western percussive styles, he can be heard on over 15 CD recordings with various artists. Mr. Di Sanza has performed with numerous orchestras as timpanist or percussionist and currently serves as principal percussionist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Also a composer, Mr. Di Sanza has written two concertos for percussion. His first, for darabukka (Middle Eastern goblet drum) and percussion quartet has been performed internationally; his second, titled Time's Arc, was premiered in 2013 at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Mr. Di Sanza is professor of percussion at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This is his second season with BDDS. (Website)
In 1998, violinist AXEL STRAUSS was first German artist to win the international Naumburg Violin Award in New York. He made his American debut at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1998. Since then he has given recitals in major North American cities, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 2007 he was the violinist in the world premiere performance and recording of Two Awakenings and a Double Lullaby, written for him by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. Mr. Strauss has performed as soloist with orchestras in Budapest, Hamburg, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Bucharest, San Francisco, and Cincinnati and has toured widely throughout the world as a recitalist and chamber musician. He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony. His recordings include the Brahms violin concerto, Mendelssohn's "Songs Without Words,"and the first volume of the complete works for violin and piano by George Enescu. In 2013 Mr. Strauss was appointed professor of violin at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal. Prior to that he served as professor of violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This is his seventh season with BDDS. (Website)
Pianist CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR has concertized around the globe, performing throughout Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. In the U.S. he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, and Boston Pops. As a soloist he has performed at New York's Carnegie and Alice Tully Halls, Washington's Kennedy Center, the Ravinia and Aspen festivals, and dozens of others. He was named an American Pianists' Association Fellow for 2000, before which he received an Avery Fischer Career Grant in 1996, the bronze medal in the 1993 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, first prize in the 1990 William Kapell International Piano Competition, and one of the first Irving Gilmore Young Artists' Awards. Mr. Taylor now serves as Paul Collins Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He owes much of his success to several outstanding teachers, including Russell Sherman and Maria Curcio-Diamand. In addition to music, he pursues a variety of other interests, including mathematics (in which field he graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude); philosophy; computing; linguistics; and biking, which is his primary means of commuting. Mr. Taylor lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, with his wife and two daughters. This is his third season with BDDS.(Website)
A native of Israel, violinist CARMIT ZORI was chosen at age 13 by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation to perform on the international television special "Music from Jerusalem". Two years later she came to the United States to study at the Curtis Institute of Music. Since then Ms. Zori has appeared with a wide variety orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Rochester Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra and has performed throughout Latin America, Europe, Japan and Australia. Ms. Zori's recital engagements include performances at New York City's Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, Boston's Gardner Museum, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and in Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. She appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has performed as guest artist at New York's Chamber Music at the "Y" series, the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, the international Bruckner Festival in Austria, and the Mostly Mozart Festival. A regular participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, she has been featured on many "Music from Marlboro" tours. Ms. Zori is one of the musical directors of Bargemusic, New York City. This is her sixth season with BDDS. (Website)
Uruguayan-born PABLO ZINGER is a conductor, pianist, writer, composer, arranger, lecturer and narrator, specializing in the music of Astor Piazzolla, tango, Spanish zarzuela, and Latin American music. He has conducted and played with orchestras, singers and chamber groups throughout the Americas, Europe and East Asia. Mr. Zinger has accompanied Plácido Domingo at Constitution Hall, conducted the closing of Paquito D'Rivera's Carnegie Hall 50th. anniversary concert, conducted the Moscow premiere of Piazzolla's María de Buenos Aires, and narrated Piazzolla's Pueblo Joven at Tokyo's Opera . His Uruguayan musical "Las tentaciones de González" was premiered in New York City in 2012. His tribute to Latin women composers, "Besame mucho," played at New York City's Repertorio Español theatre in spring 2014.. He has written a Latin Jewish tango musical with Ilan Stavans. He tours and records frequently with the Zinger Septet in Valencia, Spain. His CDs include Tango Apasionado with Astor Piazzolla, Chamber Music from the South, and the Grammy-nominated The Clarinetist with Paquito D'Rivera, Las Puertas de la Mañana (songs of Carlos Guastavino), and two sets of Carlos Suriñach's flamenco-infused music. Mr. Zinger has written for the New York Times, Opera News, Guitar Review and Classical Singer, and lectured for the New York Philharmonic. This is his first season with BDDS.(Website)
Grammy and Tony Award winning conductor JOHN DEMAIN is now in his 19th season as music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of the Madison Opera. Mr. DeMain's active conducting schedule has taken him to the stages of the National Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the symphonies of Seattle, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Houston, and San Antonio, along with the London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of Seville and the Leipzig MDR Sinfonieorchester. In 2007 he donated a performance to Costa Rica's Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional to benefit their National Institute of Music. He has also been a regular conductor with Mexico's Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and National Opera of Mexico in Mexico City. After his 17-year tenure with Houston Grand Opera, Mr. DeMain served as artistic director for Opera Pacific and as a regular guest conductor with Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, and San Francisco Opera. Mr. DeMain holds honorary degrees from the University of Nebraska and Edgewood College and was recently named a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
Soprano EMILY BIRSAN is a member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Ms. Birsan was most recently heard performing on the main stage as Sandman in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, Trainbearer in Strauss' Elektra, and as the Page in Verdi's Rigoletto. She also covered various leading roles, including Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Armida in Handel's Rinaldo, Norina in Don Pasquale, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Musetta in La Boheme. Ms. Birsan has been featured on 98.7 WFMT-Chicago in a themed recital series (Other Americans in Paris, Shakespeare Songs, 1929, Voices of Women, Chicago), singing an array of art song repertoire that is being broadcast during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons. Ms. Birsan is also preparing for the world-premiere of songs of Amy Beach to be recorded in April 2013 with WFMT. Ms. Birsan is a graduate of Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, WI, and earned her masters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music as a Collins Fellow in Opera.
Since her solo debut at 14, Canadian violinist NAHA GREENHOLTZ's concerto engagements have included appearances with the Vancouver, National Ballet of Canada, Madison, Quad City, Burnaby, Kelowna, and National Repertory Orchestras. Ms. Greenholtz is also active as an orchestral musician, serving as concertmaster of both the Madison and Quad City Symphony Orchestras. Additionally, she performs regularly as a guest concertmaster, having made recent appearances with the Oregon, Calgary, National Ballet of Canada, Omaha, and Memphis Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Greenholtz's festival appearances include Kneisel Hall, Taos, Spoleto (Italy), Lucerne, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. She is artistic director of Signature Series, a chamber music festival in Davenport, Iowa. Ms. Greenholtz holds a BM from Juilliard and an artist diploma from CIM's Concertmaster Academy. Her primary teachers have been William Preucil, Joel Smirnoff, Donald Weilerstein, and Andrew Dawes.
This September, clarinetist BURT HARA celebrates his 25th season as the principal clarinet of the Minnesota Orchestra. Previously, Mr. Hara served as principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, Mr. Hara has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Hara is on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival, and is the principal clarinet of the Aspen Chamber Symphony. An active chamber musician, Mr. Hara performs regularly at the Aspen Music Festival, Summerfest in La Jolla, Music in the Vineyards in Napa Valley, the Salt Bay Chamberfest in Maine, the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota and on the Minnesota Orchestra's chamber music series. Mr. Hara is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Donald Montanaro. His principal teachers also include Yehuda Gilad and Mitchell Lurie.
Violist CHRISTOPHER DOZORYST holds the position of principal viola with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and performs with the Heartstrings program of the Rhapsodie String Quartet. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Oakwood Chamber Players, and the Pecatonica String Quartet. A former Chicagoan, Mr. Dozoryst enjoyed an active freelance career, performing with the Elgin Symphony, Lake Forest Symphony, Ars Viva, Chicago Sinfonietta, and Chicagoland Pops. He earned his BA in music performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997 and his MMU in viola performance from Carnegie-Mellon University in 2000. His teachers have included Louis Rosove, Sally Chisholm, and Atar Arad.
Violinist/violist YURA LEE is the recipient of the 2007 Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Tokyo Philharmonic. In 2000, Ms. Lee made her Carnegie Hall debut with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Ms. Lee was the first-prize winner in the Leopold Mozart Competition, the fourth-prize laureate in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and the second- prize winner in the Premio Paganini Competition in Italy. As a chamber musician, Ms. Lee regularly takes part in the Marlboro Festival, Salzburg Festival, Verbier Festival, Caramoor Festival, Ravinia Festival, Kronberg Festival, and Aspen Music Festival.. In 1997 Ms. Lee received the Debut Artist of the Year prize at the "Performance Today" awards given by National Public Radio. She has also been featured on the "Late Show with David Letterman," CNN/fN, "Fox on Arts," WABC-TV in New York, and ZDF Arte in Germany. Ms. Lee earned her Artist Diploma Degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and Indiana University. She plays the 1778 Joseph and Antonio Gagliano violin and the 2003 Douglas Cox viola. This is her third season with BDDS. (Website)